updated 11/21/2006 6:36:24 PM ET 2006-11-21T23:36:24

Maurice Graham, who began hitching rides on trains as a teenager and was known as the “King of the Hobos,” has died at the age of 89.

Graham, who recently suffered a stroke, died Saturday at the Northcrest Nursing Home, his family said.

Graham, nicknamed “Steam Train Maury,” was a founding member of the National Hobo Foundation and helped establish the Hobo Museum in Britt, Iowa.

He was “a true hobo hero,” said foundation president Linda Hughes.

“He was a classy and respected man,” she said. “No one can live up to Steam Train. He’s irreplaceable.”

Graham in 1990 wrote “Tales of the Iron Road: My Life As King of the Hobos,” telling his stories of hopping trains beginning at the age of 14 and living in hobo camps until 1980. He was named National Hobo King five times at the annual hobo convention in Britt, and was crowned Grand Patriarch of Hoboes in 2004.

Graham worked as a mason and founded a school where he taught the trade. He was a medical technician during World War II.

He is survived by his wife, Wanda, and two daughters.

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